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Matters Criminous

crime / mystery / detective literature:
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Crime/Mystery Series: Inspector Jules Maigret

Such nights, which eight times out of ten ended with a confession, had in course of time acquired their own rules, their traditions, as it were, like stage plays that have been performed hundreds of times.

The inspectors on duty in the various departments had immediately understood what was happening, as had the waiter from Brasserie Dauphine who brought up sandwiches and beer.

--Maigret and the Bum,
Georges Simenon

Georges Simenon's Inspector Jules Maigret

About the Author

There are at least four good, informative web pages about Simenon:

About the Character

There is an excellent Maigret web site available; the listings below owe a deal of gratitude to that site, which is a model of how a topical web site should be done.

(In case you came to this page you are reading from a search engine instead of through its site, I will here repeat the brief remarks on the main mystery/crime page that points here.)

Simenon is a novelist of the psychological whose especial strength is exposing the bizarre and the fantastic in simple, ordinary lives. Maigret's "method" (a joke, as he always remarks that he has no method) of investigation is to hang about, apparently aimlessly, to look, see, hear, sniff, taste, get deeper and deeper into the feel of the lives of those involved in a case, till he practically lives those lives with them: then he knows, by intuitive perception of the hidden tensions, who must have done what how--and why. These tales tend to be depressing, but they enrich our understanding of our fellow humans. (They also have a marvellous atmospheric quality of the Paris of their times, which range from the 1930s on into the 70s, as the Wolfe tales have of New York City and the Holmes tales of London.)

The Books

There were 75 Maigret novels (albeit many really novellas) plus 28 short stories; not included in those counts are some peculiar "pre-Maigret" Maigret tales Simonon wrote under pen names as a sort of tune-up for the real thing. The short stories are fully collected in two volumes, Maigret's Christmas and Maigret's Pipe. There have been numerous Maigret omnibus volumes, but there is no uniform edition or complete set.

In these lists, the links are all to used-book searches for the title (via Abebooks). Some few can still be found in print new, but not many. As usual, the search results are sorted from lowest price up (note that, as always in used-book searches from this site, the price sort is by actual book price, not total shipped price, though each listing also always shows the true total shipped cost; occasionally, a slightly more expensive title will be slightly cheaper shipped--but the differences are never much and you can easily eyeball those cases.)

The "Precursors"

These are tales Simenon wrote under the pen names "Georges Sim" and "Christian Brulls"; he vehemently held that they were not to be considered a true part of the Maigret saga, mais chacun a son goût. There were four novels and three short stories; since none have been published in English, I merely give you this link to a summary page about those "precursors". (There are some online translations of them there.)

The Short-Story Collections

There are two volumes that between them include all the Maigret short stories.

The Individual Novels

Most Maigret novels were issued under more than one title in English. I have shown them all, grouped as appropriate; be aware that a given title in English may, and often does, represent several editions. Here they are in order of first publication (in French), the year shown.

Maigret Omnibus Editions

Besides those listed below, there are various Simenon omnibuses that each include some Maigret novels along with other work, but I have omitted those because you are presumably chiefly interested in Inspector Maigret. All the titles listed here are 100% Maigret collections.

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